Peyton Siva didn’t much care for the NBA draft. Well, at least the parts with Kemba Walker.
The Louisville guard fared pretty well in three games against Walker’s UConn Huskies last season. The Cards won twice, Siva averaged 15.7 points and 6 assists a game – including a 19-point, 7-assist outing during the 79-78 Cardinals win on Jan. 29.
But the draft broadcast showed three Walker clips and each one seemingly had Walker smoking Siva.
“There were about three plays when he got me. They played them (on ESPN) when he got drafted. I was like, ‘OK, so those plays when he got me, they’re going to show those three after all the ones that we played against each other? OK, I have something to work on next year to not have that showing again,’” he told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
A motivated Siva’s a great thing for Louisville, too. He’ll already be the league’s quickest guard – he may have been last year as well, even with Walker around – and will undoubtedly be among its top players in 2012.
And for that, Walker deserves a little credit.
“Playing against Kemba Walker was actually a good thing for me,” Siva told the paper. “Playing against him, it made me realize I’m going to go out and play my best because you don’t want to get embarrassed.”
“He never took a play off. Even if you think you’re playing good, you can have one bad play. You can’t take plays off.”
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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.